Saturday, July 7, 2012

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Japanese Curry Rice

I have to confess that coming up with a dish for Japan that I thought the whole family would eat was difficult. I searched through books and all over the Internet until I finally stumbled upon the idea of curry rice. I was surprised to learn that curry was one of the most popular dishes in Japan. Usually it's made with an instant curry roux. But, I knew I would never find that in my small town. Luckily, I happened across this recipe for homemade Japanese curry rice from No Recipes.

I discovered that making the curry rice was going to be a long process. It took me about 1.5 hours from start to finish. Since our typical meal usually take about 30 minutes, I really had to plan ahead. We made plans for a special night of Japanese food and by the time that night got here, everyone was excited. But, no one wanted to help. So I chopped... and I chopped. I tossed veggies in a pan. I cooked up a batch of rice. Finally, a little helper came to the kitchen to help.

I had AJ (age 3) stand at the stove and help stir. There's a lot of stirring involved, so it helps to have a helper.  So, we worked and worked softening up all of our veggies. We added the chicken, the potatoes, and the carrots. Finally it was time to make the roux. Yum... did the kitchen ever smell good!

AJ and I gathered the family and it was time to eat. My little kitchen helper gobbled her curry. Boy, was it good! Unfortunately, it turned out the the other two members of the family weren't fans of curry. Oh well. We still had fun on our culinary trip to Japan. I hope you'll consider joining us by making a Japanese dish of your own!

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Welcome to "Around The World in 12 Dishes". We will be taking you on a journey around the world, (loosely) following in Phileas Fogg's footsteps, exploring 12 different countries with our children, by cooking 12 dishes with them. One for each country visited.

The world is such a wonderfully diverse and colorful place. Our children see maps, flags and books. They see postcards and maybe they see films about the world.. but let's really bring it to life through food! Taste and smell don't often get explored, we think this would be wonderfully fun and interesting for you and your children.

Not only is it an exciting and different way to learn about cultures, but cooking with children brings a host of benefits - from numeracy to science. How can you beat that?

Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Glittering Muffins, Juggling with Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Make, Do & Friends, Mermaids' Makings, Mom 2 Posh Little Divas, Montessori Tidbits, Mummymummymum, The Educators' Spin On It and The Usual Mayhem have come together to help you on your food journey and will each cook a dish with our children and post about it - to help inspire you to have a go! Then go out there, cook, blog, and join in the linky fun! Check out the other great posts as well!

Around the World in 12 Dishes

We had started our journey the same way Phileas Fogg did in London, UK, and Stockholm, Sweden continued on to Moscow in Russia. Now our next stop is New Delhi, capital of the exotic sub-continent of India!

How to join the fun!

  • The only mandatory part is the dish, the rest is all up to you, we just thought it would be fun and more concrete to the kids as to why we are making a unusual dish.
  • Cook a dish from Japan: The goal is to explore this country through FOOD and activities if you wish. Make a typical dish (sweet or savoury) from the country with the kids, take photos and have fun!
  • Typical dishes: Sushi, Gohan, Chicken Yakitori, Gyoza, Sukiyaki, Yakisoba.
  • Print your passport: Click here to download, comes with space for a photo of the child with the dish. Here is a little cover for it if you wish :)
  • Color a placemat: Once colored/painted or whatever other way you want to do this, you can laminate it or put it between clear contact paper to use it over and over. Great conversation piece for you and your kids. Click here to download it.
  • Make a craft: you can make a country related craft with the kids [optional!]
  • Read a book: We recommend "K is for Kabuki".
  • Fun fact: Many of the western style toilets in Japan have a built-in bidet system for spraying your backside.
  • Share with us: Our Japan challenge starts on July 1st and will remain open for a year, so attach a link to your blog to enter the linky party or go to the comment section and post a photo together with what you did together with your child(ren).
  • Pinterest: We will add your photos to a "Around the World in 12 Dishes" Pinterest Boards (one for the dishes, one for the crafts) you will be a great source of inspiration for everyone :)
  • Are you a blogger? Let your fans know about the challenge and grab our cute lil’ button to share it on your blog.
Around the World in 12 Dishes

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>
If you do this, we’d LOVE to see a photo of it. Email it to us or post it on our Facebook page. We’d love to do a Facebook album, a Pinterest board and a page of your creations :)
Please link up your Japanese dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!

If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!


  1. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, I can smell it from here. Nico loves potatoes, onions, carrots, peas & chicken, not sure about curry but I think it could work and he could love it. I'll try to make this one for sure! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. We were planning to make tempura, but then that turned into tempura-inspired panko crusted green beans. I wanted to post about it and link up, but don't think it really qualifies as Japanese!


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